Currently in ESD 3 you are paying about .03 per $100 in value of your property. The ballot language is to raise it from .01 to .10 (the sate max allowed) so that's a 900% increase. But, if the 257% makes you feel any better, feel free to use it, technically, both are correct, depending on the language.
While we have no doubt Westlake Fire Dept has desperate needs, we're quite sure those of us in ESD 3 have desperate needs as well, such as keeping up with increasing evaluations and feeding our families all while trying to desperately hold onto our property under the rise of crushing tax burdens.
We're also quite sure, as with almost every taxing entity, there's some waste that should be accounted for here. For one, simply not even caring enough to hire an attorney to produce acceptable ballot language. Now, the ESD is on its third round of ballot issues. Elections are expensive, folks. Clearly, the ESD may claim desperate needs, but feels that thousands of dollars are completely legitimate to waste, if it means they could possibly get more of your money and little bit more of your property via taxation.
The ESD will continue to make the case they only wish to go to .06. Then, perhaps they should write the language as such. The fact remains, if voters approve .10 they will have the mandate to go to that rate. Without question and with no need to ask another authority at that point. The true reason is they likely do not want to continue to ask to raise taxes because voters will usually rebuke them. So, if they can get it all in one swoop, all the better.
The complete disrespect shown to voters across the state from taxing entities can be brutal. From claiming those of us who do not agree do not care for firefighter's needs; To that if we do not wish to support an increase we are undeserving of emergency fire response. None of this is true. And while they will claim outdated equipment and facilities, one has to wonder just why someone did not have the forethought that just perhaps while gobbling up taxpayer money for decades one did not think.."Hey, one day we have to replace this stuff" It is indeed easier to spend money foolishly when it is coming from someone else.
Mismanagement and waste always seem to equate to we, the taxpayer, must step up with a bailout. Yet, do we ever get anything correct? How many times must we learn that the waste continues. County Line Road sits in utter disrepair as do all the surrounding County Roads, weeds grow around us and more and more tax money pours in as some of us have seen evaluations grow to 50% higher. Not all of that is the ESD's fault and they'll be quick to make sure to say that. But, they are in fact part of the problem of tax, spend, waste, ask for more money, rinse & repeat.
Vote No! We cannot afford more taxes. Just as we're expected to live within our means while paying taxes to them, so should they. For many of us, the well is running dry. There is no more to give. Perhaps instead of always worrying over coming growth, we might suggest local County Government learns to take care of us already here. Because from the job they are doing now, they surely need not worry about attracting growth, they can't handle our needs now. Once the growth comes, the tax base will grow. After all, just think of all the more money they'll have to waste & misuse once that growth appears.